Chef Michael Scelfo has been drawn to the kitchen for as long as he can remember. A Western Culinary Institute grad, he spent quality time as a young cook in the James Beard award-winning Wildwood Kitchen in Portland, Oregon. During that time, his love for creating vibrant, ingredient-forward dishes was nurtured.
At the age of 25, he found himself receiving a 2½ star review in The New York Times while at the helm of Long Island’s sophisticated Blond. He has since overseen the kitchens of several neighborhood joints with cult-like followings, including Dedo, North Street Grill and Tea-Tray in the Sky at which he landed a three star review in The Boston Globe. His post as Executive Chef at Good Life resulted in a Stuff@night dining award. During his tenure as Executive Chef at Russell House Tavern, Scelfo earned top honors at the 2013 Boston Lamb Jam and at the epic traveling pork competition, Cochon 555.
In early 2014, Scelfo opened Alden & Harlow, where he extended the concept of the domestic kitchen table into his first solo venture. Located in the iconic Casablanca restaurant space in Harvard Square, Alden & Harlow pays homage to its chef’s roots by making each ingredient shine.
The success of this formula is proven in the attention the restaurant has received. In 2014, Boston Globe restaurant critic Devra First awarded Alden & Harlow a three-star review. They were honored to be the Best New Restaurant by Boston magazine and The Improper Bostonian as well as being chosen as “The Best of the New” in the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine. Bon Appetit magazine nominated Alden &Harlow as one of 50 nominees for “America’s Best New Restaurants.” They were also highlighted as one of the Best Restaurants in the Northeast by Arrive magazine.
In 2015, Alden & Harlow was a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation Awards in the Best New Restaurant category and Scelfo was a semifinalist in the category of Best Chef Northeast in 2016. In the 2016 Best of Boston awards, Boston magazine honored Alden & Harlow with Best Restaurant: General Excellence. In September 2016, Conde Nast Traveler named Alden & Harlow one of the “Best Restaurants in the World.”
Scelfo opened his second venture, Waypoint, in 2016. In his Boston Globe review, Mat Schaffer wrote “…business appears to be booming. Scelfo’s fans are on board for the next stage of the journey.” In The New York Times, writer Jason Tesauro said Waypoint is, “vibrant enough for a happy hour pop-in, yet intimate enough for after-dark canoodling over caviar and cocktails.” In January 2017, Boston magazine awarded Waypoint a three-star review boasting, “with full-bore flavors and opulent ingredients, [Waypoint] gives pristine seafood—and everything else on the menu—the Midas touch.” And in 2017, Food & Wine magazine named Waypoint one of their “Best New Restaurants.”
In 2018, Scelfo opened The Longfellow Bar at Alden & Harlow above Alden & Harlow at 40 Brattle Street in Cambridge. The Longfellow Bar is a neighborhood bar and restaurant located in the historic Café Algiers in Harvard Square. The two-story space is named after famed architect Alexander Wadsworth Longfellow, who along with his business partners Frank Alden and Alfred Harlow created Brattle Hall in 1889; the updated design is inspired by Scelfo’s ideal retreat to escape and explore his creativity.
In what little spare time he has, Scelfo can be found smoking a wide variety of meats at his home and spending time with his family. A native of Long Island, New York, he currently lives in Arlington with his wife and three children.